Global Tourist Arrivals Down 83% in Q1; Asia Pacific Down 94%

(03 Jun 2021)
According to the UNWTO Confidence Index, international
tourist arrivals were down 83% in Q1 2021 as widespread travel
restrictions remained in place.

Between January and March 2021 destinations around
the world welcomed 180 million fewer international arrivals
compared to the first quarter of last year.

Asia and the Pacific
continued to suffer the lowest levels of activity with a 94% drop
in international arrivals over the three-month period.

Europe
recorded the second largest decline with -83%, followed by Africa
(-81%), the Middle East (-78%) and the Americas (-71%).

All these negative numbers
follow on from the 73% fall in worldwide international tourist
arrivals recorded in 2020, making it the worst year on record for
the sector.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili,
said, “There is significant pent-up demand and we see
confidence slowly returning. Vaccinations will be key for
recovery, but we must improve coordination and communication while
making testing easier and more affordable if we want to see a
rebound for the summer season in the northern hemisphere.”

The latest survey of the UNWTO Panel of Tourism
Experts shows prospects for the May-August period improving
slightly. The pace of the vaccination rollout in
some key source markets as well as policies to restart tourism
safely, most notably the EU Digital Green Certificate, have
boosted hopes for a rebound in some of these markets.

Overall, 60% expect a rebound in international
tourism only in 2022, up from 50% in the January 2021 survey. The
remaining 40% see a potential rebound in 2021, though this is down
slightly from the percentage in January.

Nearly half of the
experts do not see a return to 2019 international tourism levels
before 2024 or later, while the percentage of respondents
indicating a return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 has somewhat
decreased (37%), when compared to the January survey.

When does the UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts expect a rebound in international tourism in Asia Pacific?

When does the UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts expect international tourism to return to pre-pandemic 2019 levels in Asia Pacific?

Tourism experts point to the continued imposition
of travel restrictions and the lack of coordination in travel and
health protocols as the main obstacle to the sector’s rebound.

The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer also shows the
economic toll of the pandemic.

International tourism receipts in
2020 declined by 64% in real terms (local currencies, constant
prices), equivalent to a drop of over US$ 900 billion, cutting the
overall worldwide exports value by over 4% in 2020.

The total loss
in export revenues from international tourism (including passenger
transport) amounts to nearly US$ 1.1 trillion. Asia and the
Pacific (-70% in real terms) and the Middle East (-69%) saw the
largest drops in receipts.

International Tourist Arrivals: UNWTO Scenarios for 2021

See also:


What is the IATA Travel Pass, and what does it mean for
travellers, airlines and the global travel industry? Exclusive
video interview with Vinoop Goel
.

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